Antonio Mora

Antonio Mora

Executive Chef for Quality Bistro and Tiny's

I believe in humble leadership. When I teach people things, I also try to show them efficiencies to work more effectively, and I help them improve at the same time. I think when you make an effort, people trust you, and they are more willing to follow you. You can only grow if the people under you can do your job as well as you. If you can't accomplish that, then you can't move up and improve yourself.

I knew this was the profession for me the first time I smelled carrots cooked in duck fat. I cut an entire bus bucket of carrots on my first day. The chef threw them all out because they were cut wrong. I got screamed at. I felt horrible. That night I went out with the other cooks and we laughed about it. The next day, some of the guys coached me on how to do it right. When the chef came over and saw them, he was happy with them and they didn't get thrown out. I knew then that this job would provide me with challenges and that it would make me better for it.
Patience is the most important skill to possess in this industry.
The biggest lesson that I’ve learned in my career is that you can only control how you react to every situation. That took me a long time to learn. I wish I had learned that a lot earlier in my career.
My daughter inspires me to continue to work and excel in this industry. I wish I spent more time with her, but I want her to be proud of her dad. I also hope that I can provide for her so that she wants for nothing.
The best piece of advice I have received that "you can always go down, but you can’t always go up." In other words, always take the more challenging position or opportunity. Even though you may sacrifice a lot, in the end, you will be better for it.
I try to surround myself with creative and successful friends and mentors. I find it forces me to be a better person and keep moving forward.
Working at The Ryland Inn and working at Daniel under Alex Lee, James Laird and Craig Shelton played a major factor in where I am today. These were my first two restaurant jobs over the course of six years. Both experiences gave me the foundation and skills I needed to be successful in this industry. As I move through the years, I always draw upon my experiences there. The lessons I learned under those chefs I still carry with me to this day.
The job I currently hold keeps me motivated. I need to push myself every day to learn and be more efficient. In today's food industry, things change so rapidly. You must keep yourself informed of all new trends, laws, computer skills, culinary skills, and so much more.
A healthy work/life balance is something I am always striving for. It is the nature of the beast. When I find the secret to the balance, I’ll write a book and get rich!
I always look for a good attitude, accountability, mellowness, conscientiousness, and good manners when hiring. I also look for someone who is willing to work hard and has true grit.
The book, "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen" by Harold McGee is essential in my opinion.

Disclaimer: Individuals featured in the Inspirational Career Timelines section have been nominated by peers, colleagues and/or other members of the hospitality industry. It is to the best of our knowledge that each individual has demonstrated leadership and acted as a positive role model for others.

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